PR Implications of New Google News Feature

Last Updated Aug 13, 2007 10:26 PM EDT

PRWeek ran a story about the just-launched Google News feature that "allows newsmakers to comment on articles" (listed on Google News) and then puts those comments at the top of the comments list.
"Some have commended the technology for revolutionizing media - notably the role of journalists, sources, and PR pros. But others have questioned the feasibility of the feature and whether Google can accurately verify the identity of all of those who submit comments."
If your reaction is ho-hum, you're not the only one. The story includes lukewarm endorsements from a number of PR firms.

I guess it's interesting in the context of giving companies another mechanism to defend themselves in instances where the coverage was unjust or inaccurate. But how much damage is mitigated by an official company comment at the end of a critical article (and what percentage of readers also read the comments)?

IMO, a much more interesting Google News feature would be if they actually showed exactly how many clicks each news story receives (and in what region readers are hitting it from, etc.) ... giving companies the ability to better decipher readership stats on articles out there. A sort of Google Analytics overlay on the freely available Google News ...